Hospitals are being warned to curb pushy salesmen who prey on mothers just hours after they have given birth.
New parents have complained that they have been hounded by sales reps and have feared that their personal data has been shared.
Organisations such as Bounty offer promotional packs and professional newborn photography in hospitals ‘from the comfort of your maternity bed’.
But care minister Caroline Dinenage is calling on hospitals to put a stop to the ‘intrusive’ sales pushes on vulnerable new mothers.
Care minister Caroline Dinenage is calling on hospitals to put a stop to the ‘intrusive’ sales pushes on vulnerable new mothers
Mrs Dinenage warns that reps from organisations such as Bounty can cause women ’embarrassment and offence’ when they are feeling vulnerable.
She also said that staff offering these photography services can cause women ’embarrassment and offence’.
She told The Sunday Telegraph: ‘Representatives from Bounty and other companies may well be a valuable source of information but their approach can sometimes be a little “off”.’
Mrs Bowman, from Woodbridge, Suffolk, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘They shouldn’t be allowed to mine my son’s data within 24 hours of him being born. It’s disgusting.’
Organisations such as Bounty offer promotional packs and professional newborn photography in hospitals. File photos
Natalie and Adrian McNeece, from Herts, were first introduced to Bounty at a 12-week scan and thought it was part of the process of having a baby.
They were handed a branded folder which contained the companies marketing material mixed with their own personal medical records.
Mrs McNeece said: ‘It’s so subtle – we thought were part of the whole process, so signed up online. We then began receiving hoards of third party marketing emails.’
Ipswich Hospital have been one of the first to to only allow sales representatives to go around maternity wards only if the mother has given consent.
Reps from organisations such as Bounty can cause women ’embarrassment and offence’ when they are feeling vulnerable. File photo
They have produced cards which the mother can leave by their bed side which lets others know if they would like to be approached.
Five years ago a petition signed by more than 26,900 people urged ministers to ban the handing out promotional packs on maternity and prenatal wards.
Dan Poulter, the health minister at the time, ensured he would protect ‘women’s privacy and dignity’ in maternity wards and take action against those who didn’t.
A Bounty spokesman said: ‘We are very sorry if anyone has had an experience with us that is not up to our high standards. Bounty fully supports and acknowledges the need to respect the privacy and dignity of families on the maternity ward.
‘Our code of conduct requires that we check with the midwifery team to establish which mums we may or may not visit.
Dan Poulter, the health minister at the time, ensured he would protect ‘women’s privacy and dignity’ in maternity wards